Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman
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NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week: What to watch on Saturday

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Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman headline NBCSN Olympic Games Week on Saturday, part of seven hours of gymnastics programming.

From 8-11:30 p.m. ET, the London 2012 Games are featured. It starts with the team final, where the Fierce Five became the second U.S. women’s gymnastics team to earn an Olympic title.

Douglas, Raisman, Jordyn WieberMcKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross crushed Russia by 5.066 points to take gold, making good on the pre-Games attention that included a Sports Illustrated cover.

Two nights later, Douglas became the third straight American to win the all-around, the most prestigious title in gymnastics. Douglas, a Virginia native, lived with an Iowa host family to train under Liang Chow, who had coached Shawn Johnson to all-around silver in 2008.

Douglas’ year was magical. She went from seventh at the 2011 U.S. Championships to sneak onto the 2011 World team, then broke out as an unofficial competitor at the 2012 American Cup, posting a score that would have beaten Raisman and Wieber.

Raisman had an agonizing Olympic all-around, one that spurred her to come back for the Rio Games. She tied for bronze but was relegated to fourth on a tiebreaker with Russian Aliya Mustafina.

LIVE STREAM: NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Saturday, 8 p.m.-3 a.m. ET

Later Saturday, Raisman returns for the Rio Olympic all-around (11:30 p.m.). Simone Biles ran away with the title, while Raisman distanced Mustafina for silver, a satisfying completion to her four-year journey that included two and a half years away from competition.

Raisman is not going for the Tokyo Games. Biles returned in 2018 and extended an undefeated streak that dates to 2013, winning the last two world all-around titles to become the most decorated male or female gymnast in worlds history. Biles is expected to retire after Tokyo.

Finally, at 1:30 a.m., is the 2004 Olympic women’s team final. The U.S. had high hopes after winning the 2003 World title in Los Angeles. But Romania had the best day. The U.S. took silver, at the time its best finish at an Olympics that it did not host.

That U.S. team was led by Carly Patterson, who two nights later won the all-around over Russian Svetlana Khorkina.

MORE: Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin wear 2008 leotards for Olympic watch party

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NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Saturday, April 25

Time (ET) Program Events Live Stream
8 p.m. Olympic Classics Women’s Gymnastics 2012 Team Final Stream Link
10 p.m. Olympic Classics Women’s Gymnastics 2012 All-Around Final Stream Link
11:30 p.m. Olympic Classics Women’s Gymnastics 2016 All-Around Final Stream Link
1:30 a.m. Olympic Classics Women’s Gymnastics 2004 Team Final Stream Link

 

Gabby Douglas’ winding road through gold medals at two Olympics

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Gabby Douglas‘ path to become the world’s best gymnast took her from Virginia Beach to West Des Moines, Iowa. To return for a second Olympics in 2016, Douglas went from Iowa to Los Angeles back to Iowa and finally to Columbus, Ohio.

Douglas and the 2012 U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team are featured on NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week coverage on Thursday night. A full schedule is here.

In October 2010 at age 14, Douglas moved from her home in Virginia Beach to live with a host family and train under Liang Chow, who coached Shawn Johnson to Olympic stardom in 2008.

Before the relocation, Douglas had finished fourth at the 2010 U.S. Junior Championships. In her first year under Chow, she was seventh in her senior nationals debut yet still named to the six-woman team for the world championships, where she earned a team gold but did not advance to the all-around final.

Douglas’ breakout came on March 3, 2012 inside Madison Square Garden, at the American Cup, the biggest annual international meet held in the U.S. She competed as an alternate since the U.S.’ two official spots were taken by Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman, the top Americans from 2011. Nevertheless, Douglas posted an all-around score that would have won the meet over Wieber.

From there, Douglas took second to Wieber at nationals and won the Olympic Trials to become the Olympic favorite. In London, Douglas became the first black gymnast to win an Olympic all-around, prevailing by a slim .259 over Russian Viktoria Komova.

Douglas took nine months off from the gym after the London Games. She returned to Iowa in May 2013. In a little more than a year, Douglas traded time in Des Moines and LA before landing in Ohio for good.

Douglas and Raisman both attempted a daunting task — become the first woman to make back-to-back U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams since 2000. They both came back at the March 2015 Jesolo Trophy in Italy. Seven months later, Douglas took all-around silver at the world championships behind Simone Biles.

In 2016, Douglas won the American Cup and appeared destined for the Rio Games. Even with some struggles at nationals and Olympic Trials, she was picked for the five-woman Olympic team (as a leader with Raisman and Biles). She became the first Olympic all-around champion to return for the following Olympics since Nadia Comaneci in 1980.

Douglas’ all-around title defense was short-lived. She was third overall in qualifying, but the top two were Biles and Raisman. With no more than two per country allowed in individual gymnastics finals, Douglas did not advance, but did help the U.S. team to a repeat gold.

Douglas hasn’t competed since the Rio Olympics but has not officially announced a retirement.

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MORE: Kyla Ross’ gymnastics career comes to abbreviated end

NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week: What to watch on Thursday

Fierce Five Gymnastics
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Gabby DouglasAly Raisman and the Fierce Five gymnastics team headline NBCSN Olympic Games Week programming on Thursday.

NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week, featuring more than 100 hours of Olympic programming through April 26, shifts to Return to London coverage of the 2012 Games. All coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Eight hours of coverage Thursday includes gymnastics — women’s team final (7 p.m. ET), women’s individual finals (9 p.m.), men’s all-around (11 p.m.) — and diving — men’s finals (12 a.m.) and women’s finals (1 a.m.) — plus the women’s water polo final at 2 a.m.

LIVE STREAM: NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Thursday, 7 p.m.-3 a.m. ET

In the women’s gymnastics team final, Douglas, Raisman, Jordyn WieberMcKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross became the second U.S. women’s team to win an Olympic title after the Magnificent Seven from 1996.

Some had dubbed them the Fab Five before the event, but the quintet preferred a more original moniker — the Fierce Five — coined by Maroney.

Two nights later, Douglas became the first African-American gymnast to win an Olympic all-around title.

Douglas completed a remarkable year. Ten months earlier, she missed the world championships all-around final as the third-highest-scoring American in qualifying and was used on one of four events in the team final. She was the only American to go on all four events in the Olympic team final.

The following week, Maroney earned a vault silver medal (and, perhaps more memorably, looked unimpressed on the medal stand). Raisman, the team captain, earned two more medals — bronze on the balance beam and gold on floor exercise.

In the men’s all-around, Japan’s Kohei Uchimura completed a perfect Olympic cycle, adding gold to his three world all-around titles. American Danell Leyva rallied from 11th place after four rotations to post the highest scores of the night on parallel bars and high bar, snatching the bronze medal.

In diving, the U.S. earned its first Olympic medals since the 2000 Sydney Games. All three synchronized teams made the podium in events won by the dominant Chinese. Then, on the penultimate day of the Games, David Boudia performed the highest-scoring dive of the platform final on his sixth and final dive to take gold by a scant 1.80 points. Boudia had qualified last out of 18 divers out of the preliminaries.

The women’s water polo final pitted the U.S. against Spain. In the first three editions of Olympic women’s water polo, a favored U.S. team was relegated to silver or bronze in 2000, 2004 and 2008. This time, the Americans again appeared vulnerable, tying Spain in group play and needing overtime to get past Australia in the semifinals. They passed the final test, however, taking a 7-2 lead through three quarters and prevailing 8-5.

MORE: Full Olympic Games Week TV, live stream schedule

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NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Thursday, April 16

Time (ET) Program Events Live Stream
7 p.m. Return to London Women’s Gymnastics Team Final STREAM LINK
9 p.m. Return to London Women’s Gymnastics Individual Finals STREAM LINK
11 p.m. Return to London Men’s Gymnastics All-Around STREAM LINK
12 a.m. Return to London Men’s Diving STREAM LINK
1 a.m. Return to London Women’s Diving STREAM LINK
2 a.m. Return to London Women’s Water Polo Final STREAM LINK